My Deepest Secret, and an Apology to Chip Fry:I have struggled to share something that happened to me as a child, and whether or not to share this. I know that some people benefit from this kind of catharsis while for others it only serves to exasperate the problem, causing them to live a life as a victim. For some situations there are whole web sites devoted to helping people with these various problems, but that is not my case, I am unique. I haven’t shared this with anyone, not even my wife of 22 years. Until now.
When I was about 7 or 8 years old I was playing in the front yard with a neighbor boy, Chip Fry. Chip liked to show me how much smarter he was than me, I think that he was something like 6 months older than me. At one point Chip told me that he knew who Santa Claus was. I knew who he was as well, he was… Santa Claus. What is there to know? But Chip acted as though he knew something else, so I indulged him. “”Okay, who?” The answer shocked me. “Your dad!” I reacted as anyone might with such news, I punched him in the face. He cried and ran home. Later that night my folks got a call from the Fry’s and my dad told Mr. Fry that he would talk with me (I was listening). Dad explained that he was indeed Santa and that I shouldn’t tell my little sister because she was too young to understand, a secret that I have kept until this very day.
This has been a terrible secret for me to keep. Year after year I watch the TV shows and movies about Santa and I know who they are about. I laugh at all of the images of Santa and would love to ask him how he pulled all of that off. But I haven’t. I didn’t want to spoil anything for my dad, I have never asked about the details of this second life. I know that for my dad it will have something to do with computers, but for now it is his life and my secret.